Business Intelligence has a collaboration problem

Scott Duthie - Partner

The Problem

So here’s the problem. How do you foster sharing and collaboration between users of your analytics platform? How do you transform ‘Consumers’ of analytics to ‘Contributors’? The data flow shouldn’t be a one-way street, and we shouldn’t be consuming the final output in silos. It turns out this is partly a working culture challenge, breaking down our ‘old way’ of working can be difficult, but there’s also a lack of ‘in-app communication’ within most BI tools. How can we expect workers to drive value from the information we’re providing if we’re not giving them an effective way to communicate and share insights?

Business Intelligence is Changing……..Fast!

The demand for data, how we’re filling those data requests and who’s doing it is undergoing a massive transition. ‘First Generation’ BI was centrally controlled and delivered by IT, while ‘Second Generation’ BI saw small analytic groups within business functions querying data sources and building their own reporting. ‘Third Generation’ business intelligence is a new beast based on ‘democratization of data’, but what does this really mean? Well, we’re starting to rethink the custodianship/stewardship/ownership roles around our business data. There’s often a tug-of-war going on between I.T and ‘The Business’. One core objective of ‘self service BI’ is to reach a new audience. It’s about delivering data and insights to the far reaches of the organization in a timely, structured and governed way. The potential impact to improve business operations is immense……..when we get it right.

But democratization of data creates a new challenge…..

How does this broad and disparate user base, sometimes at the periphery of the organization, communicate with each other? Picture a sales rep on the road, a utilities maintenance worker out in the field, or a nurse working the ward. How do they raise data quality issues, share insights with peers, record comments and chat about what they’re discovering? It’s a common thread I’ve seen in all self-service BI environments. Users are taking screen shots, exporting data back out to excel, emailing each other, copying and pasting URLs and setting up teams in external messaging platforms. The missing link here is ‘in-app communication’……and thanks to ‘VizLib Collaboration’, we have a nifty solution for Qlik – and boy have they hit the mark.

VizLib’s extension for Qlik Sense appears as either a popup or embedded chat window within a Qlik Sense app. Users of the app can chat in real time with all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from a modern messaging app. Even gifs and emojois for those who have left text communication behind!

Comments can be associated with an individual chart or the entire sheet, and you can comment to the whole user group, or send as a private note. To add context to your comments, bookmarks or current selections can be included so that others can easily recreate on their end the scenario you’re seeing. There’s Slack and MS Teams integration, and the extension will even auto-generate an email with screenshots, the underlying data as an attachment, and a hyperlink for the recipient to navigate directly back to the app in question.

Collaborate and discuss insights in the same place you discovered them!

No more editing screenshots in MS Paint, no more emailing urls, no more explaining what filters you’ve applied in hope that your colleague can recreate your scenario on their end.

Qlik has always been ahead of the game in the self-service BI department, and this innovative new extension by VizLib is the catalyst that can really empower self service analytics from the organization’s core right out to the furthest edges.

Contact Pomerol to see how your analytics consumers can become contributors! Learn more about VizLib here.

Umar Ali

Scott Duthie is a US Partner at Pomerol Partners. He is responsible for overseeing all project service delivery in the US and leading technical pre-sales for the US market.

He has Bachelor’s of Commerce degree in Economics and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Development Studies. Scott is a highly experienced consultant in the business intelligence space, with deep technical knowledge spanning a myriad of CRM and ERP platforms. He specializes in helping companies build high impact reporting solutions and has worked across pharmaceuticals, retail, healthcare and supply chain industries.

Scott loves rolling up his sleeves on new projects and believes building a deep understanding of his clients’ businesses is the key to making a real impact. He finds great reward in helping clients solve every day problems using their own data, and is a big campaigner for cross-pollinating ideas and methods across industries.

Prior to starting in consulting Scott spent many years as a fine-dining chef, running numerous kitchens across New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, France and Spain.  He believes the hands on experience of running a team in a high pressured environment and managing a P’n’L with the tight margins of the hospitality sector gives him a unique perspective in the corporate world.

Outside of consulting Scott is a avid skier and cyclist and loves exploring the Rocky Mountains from his home in Denver.